Mount Fanjing

The Temple of the Buddha and Maitreya Temple, photographed from above, atop the New Golden Summit on Mount Fanjing, in May 2018
Costfoto / Barcroft Media

Mount Fanjing or as it is called in Chinese, Fanjingshan is located in South West China. Rising to a height of just over 8200 feet, Mount Fanjing was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2018. Besides being a natural wonder, the area includes a number of Buddhist temples as well.

Mount Fanjing is considered a holy site in Buddhism and it’s name means “Brahma’s Pure Land”. It’s peak is known as the Red Cloud Golden Summit and is topped by two temples, with a narrow gorge in between and a footbridge linking them.

Getting to Mount Fanjing is not easy. Located about 12 miles from the city of Tongren, daily buses run to the mountain and the journey takes around 90 minutes. There is limited accommodation in the area. However, its relatively isolated location means, that it is home to a great variety of plant and animal life, including the rare Guizhou Golden Monkey and the Chinese Giant Salamander. The area has over 2000 varieties of plants and trees, many of them unique to the place.

However, this isolation can also be a blessing for the modern traveler, as Mount Fanjing is not overrun by tourists. Its possible to get to the top of the mountain and many pilgrims and visitors do so. The climb is not for the faint hearted, although there are stops along the way as well as some refreshment stalls. Legend has it, that there are 8888 steps to the top, so if you can make it to the peak, the views are spectacular. Another option is to take a cable car to a nearby outcrop, known as Mushroom Peak.

Mount Fanjing is a beautiful, quiet and unique site and can make a refreshing and spiritual change after the hustle and bustle of big cities.

A sea of clouds, photographed at sunset in Mount Fanjing Nature Reserve
Clkraus / Shutterstock

An aerial view of the short bridge connecting the temples atop the New Golden Summit
Costfoto / Barcroft Media

A view of the New Golden Summit, looking west
Costfoto / Barcroft Media

A rainbow appears above Buddhist temples on Mount Fanjing.
Yuanyuan Yan

A view to the south
Clkraus / Shutterstock

Climbing up through the gorge of the New Golden Summit
Yuanyuan Yan / Getty

A closer look at the peak Costfoto / Barcroft Media

Mount Fanjing is considered one of Chinese Buddhism’s sacred mountains—the fifth most important one in China. Costfoto / Barcroft Media

Unique geological landforms, including the “Mushroom Stone” at right Sanyanwuji / Shutterstock

Clouds roll past the New Golden Summit on Mount Fanjing. Clkraus / Shutterstock

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